Authors: Amber Kell
Tags: #Erotic Romance Fiction
A Totally Bound Publication
Overcoming His Pride
©Copyright Amber Kell 2014
Cover Art by Posh Gosh ©Copyright May 2014
Edited by Stacey Birkel
Totally Bound Publishing
This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Totally Bound Publishing.
Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Totally Bound Publishing. Unauthorised or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.
The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.
Published in 2014 by Totally Bound Publishing,
Newland House, The Point, Weaver Road, Lincoln, LN6 3QN
This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a
OVERCOMING HIS PRIDE
Book eight in the Supernatural Mates series
Andrew never expected love to come to him.
Andrew Everett has had horrible luck in love. His wife left him with a baby then years later his second relationship ended with his girlfriend turning into a psychopath. Imagine his surprise when two wren shifters decide to keep him.
Marlen and Chen have been together for years. Kicked out of their flock because of their love for one another, they’ve drifted from place to place looking for a home. One sight of Andrew and the pair knows who they want to complete their nest. But convincing Andrew of that proves more difficult than anticipated.
When a woman from Andrew’s past comes back, they have to pull together to protect all that Andrew holds dear. Will the three of them be able to find their happy ending, or will Andrew remain unwilling to be their nest mate?
To Leona Perry, who helped me find a name for my ménage.
Andrew looked both ways before heading to his car. He let out a relieved sigh. No sign of them. It was barely seven in the morning—maybe they didn’t wake up early. Weren’t birds supposed to, though? Something about getting the worms? Did wren shifters eat actual worms? Would they have worm breath? He shuddered.
Another glance around didn’t reveal any birds hopping out to greet him. One cranky crow swept the sky above him, but as he didn’t know any crow shifters, he ignored the bird. It had probably only come to sit on the phone lines and poop on his car.
For once the wrens weren’t waiting around the corner to pounce. Besides, birds didn’t really pounce—the most they could do was hop and peck, or shift into gorgeous men and try to seduce him. That was their favourite trick.
When he was a few steps from his car, two wrens landed on the roof. The familiar click of their claws against metal had his heart skipping a beat. Huh, they hadn’t lost interest after all. Andrew sighed and tried to hide his smile as relief washed over him. He knew he should step back from the wrens. He’d never acted on his attraction to men before. How these two had broken down his resistance, he didn’t know. Maybe he had a weakness for stunning, sweet men who wanted to take care of him. He’d never been on the receiving end of pampering before. Or perhaps having two sexy stalkers was going to his head…and not the one on his shoulders.
“You can’t sit there. You have to let me go to work.” He tried to use a serious tone, but frankly the birds were adorable.
They responded by puffing up their feathers and chirping at him with a series of scolding noises. He didn’t need to speak bird to know they weren’t happy with him.
“You need to stop coddling me.” Andrew held his hand up to the wrens, showing his small bandage. “See, I’m not bleeding at all. It’s almost completely healed. If I wasn’t heading for the hospital, I would leave it unwrapped.”
He felt foolish showing his minor cut to a pair of tiny feathered creatures, but the sight of his blood had completely freaked out the wren shifters. They had insisted on hovering over him for days until they were certain he wouldn’t bleed to death over a small knife cut. Although he’d refused to let them stay the night, that hadn’t stopped them from making a nest in the tree across from his apartment. They hopped out to check on him whenever he dared step a foot outside.
A barrage of irritated chatter assaulted his ears.
“No! You two don’t get a say.” Ignoring the indignant birds, Andrew Everett opened his car door. A flutter of wings flickering in the corner of his eye assured him they’d flown off. He brutally squashed his stab of disappointment over their departure. Did he expect a pair of twenty-something shifters to hover outside his house forever waiting for his attention? Andrew closed his eyes and rested his forehead against the cool metal of his car for a moment. The saying ‘there’s no fool like an old fool’ whispered through his head like a relationship death knoll.
He didn’t want to lust after the two young men. He’d already done the ‘fated mate with a shifter’ relationship and that hadn’t turned out so well the first time. The only good thing that had come out of his heart-crushing marriage to a lion shifter was his son, James.
“Hey, I thought you were feeling better?”
Chen’s warm breath brushed across Andrew’s ear as he spoke. A large hand slid down Andrew’s back. Was it wrong that he knew who touched him without looking? He’d become too comfortable with the wren shifters. Andrew opened his eyes and turned his head only to find Chen’s face inches away. Chen’s brown eyes were lit with concern.
“I’m fine.” Andrew straightened. “Thanks for checking up on me. I do appreciate your concern, but I’m fine.”
He knew he sounded stiff and formal, but he couldn’t afford to encourage the shifter duo. His horrible romantic track record didn’t just make him gun shy—it had him considering monkhood.
“Babe, you’re still injured.” Marlen turned Andrew to face him with gentle hands as if he were made out of spun sugar and might crumble apart at any moment.
How had he missed them transforming? The two men changed from bird to man and back again with seamless precision. Still, they should’ve made some noise while stretching from a small bird to full-sized human.
It still pained Andrew to watch his son shift. The drugs that he’d created to hold back James’ transformation still caused his son residual problems even though James had scaled back his drug dosage.
Andrew forced his attention to the matter at hand. “First of all, don’t call me babe. Secondly, I’m mostly healed. It was only a little cut.” The injury he’d caused while cooking was mostly gone. Chen and Marlen had reacted as if Andrew had hacked off his hand and could’ve bled to death. His lack of shifter-level healing had unnerved the wrens. He’d tried to avoid them until his wound had all but vanished. They made the process difficult by repeatedly showing up on his doorstep and checking on him.
“You were bleeding.”
Andrew almost jumped at Chen’s accusing voice behind him.
“And now I’m not. I promised the hospital I’d come in. They’re short-staffed today. Apparently there’s a flu going around all the human doctors.” The chief physician, Dr Henrickson had called him in. Since Andrew knew the mink shifter didn’t particularly like him, they must be in critical need of doctors. The mink resented Andrew for what he had done to stop James from shifting, even if Andrew had had the best intentions.
Marlen grabbed Andrew’s wrist, pulling his attention back to the wren shifter. He peeled away Andrew’s bandage with his free hand. The frown didn’t leave his face. “It does look better. But you’re human. What if you catch whatever those diseased creatures are spreading around?”
Andrew shook his head at Marlen’s dramatic behaviour. “They had the flu, not the hantavirus. If I catch it, I’ll be sick for a few days then bounce back. It won’t be the first time I’ve caught a cold. It’ll be fine.”
“But humans die of colds.” Tension tightened Marlen’s shoulders. He traced Andrew’s healing scar with his finger, careful not to press too hard. “And your wound is still puffy, it could get infected. You could lose the hand!”
Andrew pulled Marlen into his arms, unable to resist the horror on the wren shifter’s face. “You don’t hang around humans much, do you?”
“No,” Marlen’s voice muffled against Andrew’s shoulder. He clung tight like a child seeking reassurance from the scary world.
“I’m a doctor. I would know if my hand was beginning to get gangrene. It’s healing naturally and is almost all better. You don’t have to worry so much.”
Marlen stepped out of Andrew’s embrace. “If we mated with you, you’d get increased healing.” He looked over Andrew’s shoulder. “Wouldn’t he, Chen?”
“Yep. One more reason bonding with us would be a great idea,” Chen agreed.
“It didn’t work before. James’ mother was a shifter. I didn’t get super healing from being her mate.”
The only thing he’d got was stabbing heartache and a sad lesson in trusting shifters. One he felt doomed to repeat with the gorgeous wren shifters claiming to be his.
“I don’t think she was your true mate,” Marlen said. His smooth brow furrowed. “If she were, she wouldn’t have been able to leave you. You said she just walked away from you and her child. Shifters can’t just abandon their mates. If you were truly bonded, it would’ve hurt her a lot more than it hurt you.”
“Trust me, it hurt quite a bit.” Just the memory of how she’d left him alone with their baby twisted the knife a little deeper into the old wound. A few days after James’ birth, Juliet had smelt their baby son and declared him defective. The next day she’d vanished with no explanation.
Marlen nuzzled Andrew’s neck in an attempt to comfort him.
If Andrew didn’t know for a fact the pair were wrens, he might’ve guessed they were cat shifters from their constant affectionate petting.
“We’re sorry that bitch abandoned you.”
The low, vicious tone was so out of character for the gentle shifter, Andrew almost stepped away in surprise. Chen pressed his hard body against Andrew’s back while Marlen slid across his front and prevented him from moving. The pair had a habit of caging him between them, making him the centre of their wren shifter sandwich. The heat of their naked bodies warmed him from the chill of the cool morning air. Like all shifters, the wrens put out more body heat than the average human.